Choosing the right leisure business for sale
Date of Article
Oct 04 2021
Farms, estates & rural leisure

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Stephen Richards
Partner, Rural
01823 428854 Email me About Stephen
RURAL LEISURE Concentrate in the buying and selling of holiday cottages, holiday let businesses and leisure businesses in the South West and across the UK. With over 20 years’ experience in the sector, a dedicated leisure department focuses in the valuation and selling of holiday cottage complexes, lodge parks, campsites, caravan parks and glamping businesses.

What are the different types of leisure business for sale?

The main distinction, and therefore the one you should consider first, is self-catering or catered guest accommodation, with each type of leisure business for sale falling into one of these two categories – this includes a holiday cottage complex, lodge park, camping and caravan site, glamping site and guest accommodation such as bed and breakfasts.

You need to think about the lifestyle that you’re looking to live, as well as the skills and expertise at your disposal.

Why choose a self-catering leisure business for sale?

Currently, this is the most popular form of holiday accommodation for guests – due to the recent lifting of social distancing requirements, the staycation industry has had another bumper holiday season, but there is a preference towards those types of accommodation which offer separation from other guests.

Self-catering leisure businesses for sale would include lodge parks, holiday cottages, caravan parks and glamping sites including yurts, pods and shepherd huts.

As a business owner, running a self-catering holiday letting business will allow a more balanced way of life; there is more focus on the quality of the accommodation. The major work will be done on changeover days which, depending on the business and the local demand, could be just once or twice a week. This can therefore be easily managed by the owners, without having to bring in outside help, if that’s preferred.

Some self-catering leisure businesses will offer additional facilities such as a bar or a restaurant, but these are not necessarily expected, so are not essential. Many leisure business owners will choose to offer these but will rent out the space to another operator, which spreads both the workload and the risk, while still offering guests the same service.

There are a few disadvantages to running this type of business compared to running guest accommodation. Firstly, if you have your heart set on moving to a coastal setting, you’ll have a smaller range of self-catering leisure businesses for sale, as there is a higher proportion of guest accommodation near the sea. Secondly, there is a reasonably high initial outlay in buying the property, and it can be difficult – if it’s a new venture – to secure financing.

Holiday cottages would be the premier type of self-catering holiday accommodation for sale; followed swiftly by lodges. Both can work all year-round and therefore have higher income potential, but there is a perception that lodges are more summer focussed. In fact, the spec is continually improving, and some lodges now have wood-burning stoves and jacuzzies, so this really doesn’t need to be the case any longer. Lodges have a lower build cost than cottages.